Not ready for primetime

NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME…. We talked earlier Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R) remarkable opening statement in a gubernatorial debate last night, in which the far-right incumbent appeared deeply confused about what she was trying to say. In the minute-long opening statement, there was a nine-second stretch in which a stumped Brewer said literally nothing.

Several alert readers emailed to let me know, however, that the debate actually got more entertaining from there — with perhaps the most striking moment coming after the event.

During an exchange on the economy, state Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, noted that it doesn’t help the state when its governor tells the nation that Arizona is a dangerous place, unsafe for tourists and investors. He was referencing an incident in which Brewer insisted that immigrants entering the U.S. illegally are responsible for “beheadings” in the Arizona desert. The governor appears to have just made the claim up out of whole cloth, as part of a larger attempt at shameless demagoguery.

During the debate, Brewer refused to comment on her own allegations, so after the event, reporters followed up. The frighteningly unprepared governor, unable to think of a response, froze, said nothing, and then literally fled.

I don’t know what Arizona Democrats plan to do with this, or if Dems even have a credible chance in this race, but these videos have a “chicken for checkups” quality to them. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine voters watching Brewer’s performance and having confidence in her ability to be a capable chief executive.

In related news, a local CBS affiliate in Arizona aired an investigative report about Brewer possibly having a conflict of interest regarding private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America, and its connection to the state’s anti-immigrant law. Brewer responded, not with a defense, but by punishing the affiliate by pulling her campaign ads from the network.

Recent polling shows Brewer cruising to a win in November. We’ll see if the polls change in light of last night’s fiasco.